Union station model railroad

Dick’s been in touch again – his N scale Union Station model railroad is really taking shape:

If you missed his last missive, it’s here.

Or if you want to see a lot more of what he’s been up to, have a look at this one.

“Hi Al:

Since last week I have done more work to the Union Station area in Chicago on the N scale California Zephyr Route.

Always so much more to do, I took these pictures this afternoon.

Street level above the tracks is beginning to take shape. The removeable box against the backdrop represents Union station.

It conveniently hides an outlet.

I staged a few vehicles in the area and to my surprise, I am needing a lot of automobiles.

Anyway “It’s a beautiful day in Chicago”.

So hopefully you can use these to show the progress over the past week or so.

Have a great week.

Dick Chapple Sr

Hardin Montana USA”

Union station model railroad

Union station model railroad

Union station model railroad

Union station model railroad

Union station model railroad

Union station model railroad

Now on to Sandy, who has been very creative:


I really enjoy seeing what other folks have done and the tips.

I am getting back into N scale after 12 years (had a room size setup in Tucson AZ). Now I am limited to 4×8 feet.

I wanted a power substation, but could not find exactly what I wanted at an affordable price. So I made these.

Just balsa wood glued to lead refill pack lids using staples as radiators and pencil erasers as capacitors.

The fans on the end are sliced pieces of pencil eraser.

The insulators are wire nuts with pieces from my parts box.

The A tower is plastruc with toothpick ends as insulators.

I got the idea from seeing some of the projects you list.



A big thanks to Sandy and to Dick for sharing his Union station model railroad – can’t wait to see the next missive.

That’s all for today folks – please do keep ’em coming.

And don’t forget the Beginner’s Guide is here if you want to get going on your own layout.



PS Latest ebay cheat sheet is here.

14 Responses to Union station model railroad

  1. Jackie says:

    I notice that many people are asking questions here on the newsletter which are not getting answered.
    I would like to suggest that if you have a question, use the forum. If you like the newsletter you will love the forum for both the newsletter and the forum are brought to you by Mr. Alastair Lee. And it is FREE!!!!
    So start asking your questions on the forum, and get the answer. It is fun & free!
    The form can be found at https://modelrailwaylayoutsplans.com/forum/

  2. Mark says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I enjoy reading and seeing what is being done It reminds me of when my brothers had a layout when we were kids. At that time I made a bridge with balsa square lengths that I cut as needed. Reading what people do reminded me of it. Thanks

  3. Peter bayley-Bligh says:

    Some interesting thoughts arise from these two articles – thank you both.

  4. Dwight In Toronto says:

    Hey Dick … just wanted to say that, like you, I too have a weak spot, and a strong preference for, 10 – 12 car N scale passenger trains. So majestic! And so nice to see you modeling a suitably-sized inner-city station facility that truly does justice to these stately trains. Fantastic job… keep the updates coming!

  5. Mike schulze says:

    I am generally not a big fan of N scale but I like the great clean look of this.
    And, I happen to be a fan of the Zephyer that i also model,
    Love it.

  6. Erick says:

    Looks pretty kool!!!!!

  7. Roger Babler says:

    Like your site but one comment on how you handle multiple photos. They would show better if you had them in a slideshow format where the viewer can advance a slide at a time with a simple mouse click.

  8. Richard Guhl says:

    My late father-in-law took the final west bound California Zephyr from Grand Junction to Salt Lake. Truly the end of an era!

  9. Who Cares says:

    Very nice.

  10. Tom Provo says:

    absolutely loved the power station

  11. Richard Chapple Sr says:

    I too like the looks and like how you built the power station Sandy. That is a special talent to transform simple everyday objects into a nice useful products.
    Thanks to you fellows for the nice comments regarding the Chicago area of my layout.
    Jackie you have a good point. Questions and replies as we do them now mostly won’t be seen again as each day goes by. I save most of the daily news I get from Al, so I can go back in to see if any additional queries have come up.
    So asking questions on the forum is a great tool that is not had a lot of use yet.
    Now if we ask a question regarding a particular article on some given day, how will anyone easily reference that article to know what the question is all about?
    Also can we put pictures with our questions if need be on the forum.
    My reply right now may go unnoticed as the days go by.
    I am going to ask a couple questions on the forum right now.
    Thank you again Jackie for bringing this up.

  12. Frank says:

    I like it when people can build realistic looking plants and power stations or pump stations and even substitute odds and ends and little doodads for things that may be hard to find and very hard to fabricate at home particularly in a scale as small as N scale.

    This use of gadgets and items that would normally be thrown away or chucked into e recycling bin is very common in table top gaming, but in model railroading we have to create realistic and identifiable things and that adds another level of difficulty, so when when someone finds a “solution” and shares it, it’s like a burden is lifted and we are inspired and it sparks creativity.

    Frank in Orlando

  13. Jan Boen says:

    Suggestion for the tram.
    Let it disappear behind the station box.
    You can then make the tram stop there a while so it looks like you have more than just an oval with a tram.


  14. James Maitland says:

    Dick. What a great idea and you are doing a fantastic job. I know Union Station very well not only from AMTRAK but with the GM&O when my father was a conductor.

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